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‘This is why I think you’ll love it’: Treliving dishes at dinner with Huberteau

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Brad Treliving ordered the grilled halibut.

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Jonathan Huberdeau chose steak.

Good sign.

“I said to him, ‘I’m ready to have Alberta beef,'” Treliving said.

Huberdeau, the new cornerstone forward and face of the Calgary Flames franchise, is filling up ribeye and tenderloin. He is under contract for the next nine seasons at Saddledome. $84 million.

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“It’s hard to get good players, it’s hard to keep good players. He’s a good player,” said Treliving, who is the NHL’s assists leader for the 2021-22 season and has 85 helpers. said after signing the biggest deal in club history. “We are excited to lock him up.”

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Huberdeau immediately expressed his willingness to extend his long-term contract with the Flames, but few expected it to happen so soon.

The 29-year-old hasn’t even been to Calgary since the trade. Of his 671 career spins at the NHL level, only his 7 spins at the Saddledome.

Jonathan Huberdoh #11 of the Florida Panthers searches for a pass in front of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL on May 8, 2021.
Jonathan Huberdoh #11 of the Florida Panthers searches for a pass in front of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL on May 8, 2021. Photo by Joel Auerbach /Getty Images File

Treliving knew Huberdeau, who spent 10 years in Florida, would be shocked at first. It takes a few days and “a little space” to wrap your head around the sudden change of scenery.

And he offered to fly to Montreal for a dinner with the Ace playmakers. This wasn’t a negotiating session, and there was no paperwork at the table that night, but as Huberdeau said with a broad smile, “Obviously, that dinner went really well.” I didn’t mean to enjoy it.

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“[Tréliving]had such a high opinion of the city that he was very excited to play there,” said Huberteau. “He was excited and he thought I was a good fit for the team and I was like, ‘I want to be there.'” increase. I think we are committed. That’s what I liked when Brad was telling me. “

It wasn’t long ago that some thought there might be a rebuild on Calgary’s next menu.

In just a few days in mid-July, Tre Living had to digest double bad news. Johnny Gaudreau is an unrestricted free Scoot as his agent, signing with his Columbus everywhere, and Matthew Tkachuk delivered another blow when he said he had no intention of staying longer.

The Panthers were on Tkachuk’s list of preferred employers and were willing to coordinate the NHL’s first sign-and-trade. Treliving demanded a hefty return — his two proven offerings at Huberdeau and his big-minute blueliner MacKenzie Weegar, his up-and-coming Cole Schwindt, and his future first-round pick .

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Calgary Flames center Dillon Duve (29) and Florida Panthers defenseman Mackenzie Wieger (52) battle it out for the loose pack in the first period at the BB&T Center.
Calgary Flames center Dillon Duve (29) and Florida Panthers defenseman Mackenzie Wieger (52) battle it out for the loose pack in the first period at the BB&T Center. Photo by Steve Mitchell /USA TODAY Sports File

The exchange was celebrated in Calgary. Aside from back-to-back partings from former favorites, there was some concern that both Huberdeau and Weeger would be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer.

Three days after “The Dinner,” Huberdeau continued its 2030-31 campaign, pledging to hit the $10.5 million annual cap.

“When it happened, yeah, it was dramatic. Two players, two top players making those decisions,” Treliving said of the departures of Gaudreau and Tokachuk. “But listen, this hasn’t been a long-standing problem of players not wanting to play in Calgary. I think it’s a great city to live in. I think it’s a great organization to play in. We really do. We have a good team, I think you need to be passionate about the organization and the city, and I think there’s something great about that.

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“So when you sit down and talk to Jonathan. , especially for players, it’s buses, hotels, rinks, restaurants, and you can say, “Oh, you go on a 5-game trip. You’ve been to all these places.” A lot of times men don’t know anything other than hotels. Probably a favorite restaurant and a link there. So you are just trying to educate him. It’s a small world, after all, so he’s going to talk to a lot of people. I talked about how

“It’s a great city,” continued Treviving, entering his ninth season as Saddledome’s general manager. “I’m proud. … Forget the Flames. I’m glad I had the chance to live in Calgary in my career because I think it’s a really, really good place.” So you just talk about it.Answer questions about the organization.Outline your thoughts and where you want things to go.You talk a little bit about where he fits in.And A lot of it, for me, is trying to learn what drives him, what he’s been through, and what he’s trying to achieve.

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“I know people might try to portray it as a sales pitch. We’re not manufacturing, we’re not dealing with machines, we’re dealing with people, and I always say, you sit across from people, tell them what you think, be honest with them. and ask them questions … the point of me going to see him was just to build a relationship.

Perhaps the $84 million mega deal over eight years could be considered a dessert.

After a busy week that included extras for Huberdeau, his potential linemate Andrew Mangiapane and Top 4 defenseman Oliver Kylington, Treliving probably deserves a weekend.

But we can’t help but wonder… do weegers like steak?

“Hopefully he will sign soon too,” Huberteau said.

wgilbertson@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Wes Gilbertson

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‘This is why I think you’ll love it’: Treliving dishes at dinner with Huberteau

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